Putin Works to Rekindle USSR


Putin Works to Rekindle USSR

With calls for a more ‘bilateral world,’ Russia looks to regain its allies in America’s backyard.

As Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Brazil to participate in the sixth brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit, he took a side trip to look up some old allies, a move with deafening rings of the Cold War.

On Friday, Putin visited communist revolutionary and former Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Havana to reignite relations with the communist island. Russia’s history with Cuba is no secret. Some of the most tense moments in the 20th century centered on relations between the Soviet Union and Cuba. At the height of the Cold War, the Cuban missile crisis brought the world as close as it’s ever been to nuclear war. Cuba was the Soviet launchpad into the United States.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, relations between Cuba and Russia became almost nonexistent, but Putin arrived in Cuba with a plan to kick-start them in a powerful way: Russia agreed to write off 90 percent of Cuba’s Soviet-era debt—almost $32 billion. To sweeten the deal further, Putin announced that the remaining $3.5 billion to be paid over the next 10 years would be used by Russia to fund projects in Cuba.

Not only did Russia cancel Cuba’s debt, but also its energy companies teamed up with Cuban counterparts with plans to expand Cuba’s energy production. These include developing Cuba’s offshore oilfields and modernizing two thermal power stations.

Cuba cannot afford to say no to this deal. With Cuba’s economy struggling to stay afloat, any economic boost is welcome. It’s also a deal with a nation Cuba is pleased to work with—any nation against the U.S. is Cuba’s friend. (Cuba was one of only 11 nations in the United Nations General Assembly to vote against a U.S.-backed resolution declaring Crimea’s referendum to secede from Ukraine invalid.) The anti-American sentiment both nations hold is a foundational pillar in their relationship.

Putin celebrated the renewal of relations with Cuba by laying a wreath at a monument to Soviet soldiers in Havana and another at the monument to Cuban national hero Jose Marti.

The Kremlin considers Cuba to be “one of Russia’s ancient partners in Latin America.” “Russian-Cuban relations rely on the solid base of years-long friendship and mutual respect,” presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said. It is a friendship Putin is looking to fast-track.

“Our bilateral trade slowed down somewhat in the 1990s and foreign partners from various countries gained a lead on us in a number of sectors,” Putin told Latin American news agency Prensa Latina. “We are ready to make up this lost ground.” He continued, “[T]oday, Cuba is one of Russia’s leading partners in the region. Our cooperation is strategic and long-term oriented. We closely coordinate our foreign policy, including within multilateral organizations. Our positions coincide on many global and regional issues.”

On Saturday, Putin made an unscheduled stop in Nicaragua to visit Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. Ortega welcomed the visit as an historical event. During the visit, Putin vowed to strengthen economic ties with the country.

Ortega, following in the footsteps of Castro, received several months of guerrilla training in Cuba with other revolutionaries in the early 1970s before returning to Nicaragua to lead a guerrilla war that led to the overthrow of the pro-West government in 1979. Like Cuba, Nicaragua allied with the Soviet Union soon after.

Putin’s visits to these former ussr allies reveal his political motives: the restitution of the glorious Soviet Empire. The Trumpet has reported before how Putin has bemoaned the collapse of the ussr, calling it “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” Combined with his actions against Ukraine this year and Georgia in 2008, these visits prove his aspirations to restore the empire. As Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in February,

[Putin] is bent on rebuilding it and restoring the glory of imperial Russia!Putin made these goals clear in 2008 by invading Georgia. He is doing everything he can to prevent Georgia, Ukraine and all other former Soviet countries from developing closer ties with Europe. …Domestically, Putin has transformed the Russian media into a propaganda machine. He has severely curbed the power of democracy and emasculated Russia’s parliament. …Back in 2003, Jane’s Intelligence firm wrote this about these government seizures: “[I]t is becoming clear that Russia is undergoing a profound political convulsion. This amounts to nothing less than the birth of the Second Russian Republic. … The new republic will continue to be a mixture of market and state-controlled economic forces. But it will be a country in which President Vladimir Putin controls both the political and economic levers of power. The Russian president has staged his own coup” (Nov. 5, 2003). This trend has intensified since that was written.

Russia has taken bold steps toward restoring that empire with the annexation of Crimea and parts of Georgia, and the continued siege on Ukraine. It has made moves into the Middle East, stepping up in areas where the United States is pulling out: e.g. Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. As the U.S. continues to isolate itself from the world, Russia is once again becoming a dominant force in world politics. Now Russia sees an opportunity to strengthen itself even more by restarting friendships with nations in America’s backyard. Just this past February, a Russian spy ship docked in Cuba without any announcement from either country. Cuba is only 110 miles from Florida.

After leaving Nicaragua, Putin traveled to Argentina to meet with Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. The two leaders signed a number of deals, including one where Russia will assist Argentina to develop a third nuclear power plant. In an effort to expand Russia’s militarily reach, Putin seeks to develop military bases in Argentina to expand Russia’s satellite capabilities, as well as putting Russian planes and helicopters in Argentina to secure sectors of Antarctica claimed by Argentina.

While Russia and Argentina had little political ties during the Cold War, Argentina is currently at odds with the U.S. over a large debt it owes U.S. hedge funds. Russia sees this anti-American sentiment as a basis for developing ties with Argentina.

Despite Putin’s recent steps, moving into Latin America is a calculated risk, at odds with another major power block that is already established itself in the area: European Catholicism.

As the Trumpet has explained repeatedly, Latin America’s roots lie in Europe and the Catholic Church. A strong allegiance to Europe already exists, especially with Argentina. As our booklet He Was Right brings out, Argentina was an outspoken supporter of Hitler and the Nazis. This is documented history. Much of Latin America is tied strongly to mainland Europe. Despite Russia’s attempts to gain a foothold in Latin America, Bible prophecy shows that Latin America will ultimately be dominated by Europe, as Herbert W. Armstrong prophesied more than 50 years ago:

The May 1962 Plain Truth declared that “the United States is going to be left out in the cold as two gigantic trade blocs, Europe andLatin America, mesh together and begin calling the shots in world commerce.”

Europe, especially Germany, is alarmed by Russian belligerence in Ukraine. Russia is moving very close to Europe’s doorstep. And now Russia is making a move into Europe’s territory in Latin America, even into the current pope’s home country. You can be sure this alarms Europe and the Vatican.

While Putin continues to revive the old Soviet Empire, Bible prophecy shows Europe will ultimately dominate Latin America. These electrifying events are taking place even as America fades from the scene—just as prophesied. Do you know where these geopolitical maneuvers are leading? You can understand. Read He Was Right to understand where these events are heading.